Exhibit preview: MINT welcomes art community to its raw, limitless space

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The development of MINT Art Gallery, a 17,000-square-foot meat-processing plant turned artist collective, studio and gallery space, is as much about building a community as it is about having that community embody freedom. The results of this ethos will be on full display during the opening reception of MINT’s member-only exhibit “Meat Sink.”

“A lot of time people graduate and feel like [they] have to move to find a community. We thought, why not have something that will keep people here, and is something to be excited about? We’re developing ideas as an incubator,” said Maritt Vaessin, one of the founding members of MINT. “[‘Meat Sink’ will] have many mediums with artists showing all over — film, installation, painting, photo, sculpture, print making. Everybody is just sort of picking space; some are in the main gallery, some are in the other rooms and the garage.”

“Meat Sink” is the fifth exhibit held at MINT since opening in August, and the space has hosted a variety of other creative events involving music, dance and performance. This will be the first time all 17 members of the collective will have work displayed — filling all of the massive space.

“There’s a great energy because there’s no walls or studios per se. The whole thing is everybody’s studio; whoever is working and needs a certain space uses that. I’ve noticed people aren’t afraid to take those strange spaces too, and for this member show almost the entire warehouse is being used,” said Liz Roberts, whose sculpture installation in the garage features 12 salvaged car windshields constructed into a massive “screen” on which she will project a film.

Other eclectic works on display at “Meat Sink” include Vaessin’s performance installation that will be transforming until the exhibit’s closing on April 10, an experimental comic by Charlie Manion where the narrative will lead viewers through the warehouse, and Rachel Hohmann’s crocheted net, glass, screen printing and porcelain installation exploring the routine of negative habits.

“Meat Sink” will stimulate multiple senses while highlighting how the uninhibited mindset of the MINT collective has brought fresh ideas to a space with endless opportunity.

Photos by Maddie McGarvey

MINT Art Gallery

March 20-April 10

42 W. Jenkins Ave., South Side